Distributor O-Ring Replacement Cost Estimate

Worried you might overpay for your distributor O-ring replacement? Use Jerry’s GarageGuard to get fair cost estimates for your distributor O-ring replacement.
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John Davis
Expert Automotive Writer
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear, Director of Content
Edited by Jessica Barrett, Senior Car & Insurance Editor

How much does it cost to replace a distributor O-ring?

You can expect an average total replacement cost of $50 to $150 for a distributor O-ring replacement, with $5 to $20 for parts and $50 to $100 for mechanic labor. Depending on your vehicle, the replacement price could be higher or lower.
How long does it take to replace a distributor O-ring? It usually takes less than 30 minutes for a certified automotive mechanic to complete the replacement. The mechanic will perform a preliminary inspection to diagnose the exact issue, and then follow through with the job if necessary.

How did we estimate these prices?

Jerry's experts researched and collected data from 2500+ real repair shops in all 50 states in the US, including everything from the total cost of repair services to the hourly labor cost for mechanic labor in each shop. We combined that data with our expert database of hundreds of real repair jobs, thousands of real cars, millions of real car part prices in order to best estimate the cost of each repair service. Our labor cost estimate is calculated by taking the average hourly labor rate for a certified mechanic in the US, times the number of hours it takes on average to complete a repair. We recommend you compare your local shops with Jerry and contact those shops directly to get final pricing for your vehicle.

What parts do I need for my distributor O-ring replacement and how much do those parts cost?

Your distributor O-ring is an integral part of the distributor’s normal function. In general, a distributor O-ring replacement involves the following parts: 
  1. Distributor O-ring: The O-ring is usually a silicone or rubber ring that seals the distributor to the engine block. The O-ring prevents oil leaks and keeps the distributor safe from potential contaminants.O-rings range in price from $10 to $30.
  2. Lubricant or grease: Mechanics typically coat the O-ring with grease or lubricant to ensure the distributor is properly sealed to the engine block. O-ring lubricant typically costs $15.
You can purchase distributor O-ring parts for your car from auto parts stores like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, as well as online retailers such as Amazon and RockAuto. Three of our recommended brands for distributor O-ring parts are Fel-Pro, Beck Arnley, and Mahle. However, the right parts and brands for your distributor O-ring replacement will vary based on your vehicle’s year, make, and model.
You can use OEM or aftermarket parts for a distributor O-ring replacement as long as they align with your vehicle’s specifications.
Using aftermarket parts for a distributor O-ring replacement can help you save money, and they function the same as OEM O-rings. With that said, OEM O-rings are made to perfectly match your vehicle’s specs, they tend to last longer, and they may come with a warranty.
You can purchase parts directly from your vehicle’s manufacturer, an automotive parts shops like AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, and O'Reilly Auto Parts, an online retailer, or a repair shop. 
If you require an OEM distributor O-ring, you’ll need to shop directly from the dealership or have an automotive body shop request the part from the manufacturer.
If you’re purchasing aftermarket parts for your distributor O-ring replacement, you can browse online sources like Amazon and RockAuto. Auto body shops may also sell aftermarket parts.

Where can I get my distributor O-ring replaced?

If you’ve yet to secure a go-to mechanic, you may be unsure about where to get your distributor O-ring replaced. Luckily,
Jerry's GarageGuard™
can compare costs from over 2,500 vetted repair shops in the US to help you find the right shop and price for your O-ring replacement. 
Using the real hourly labor rate from each shop, Jerry's GarageGuard™ compares fair price estimates* and accounts for inspection or diagnostic fees across shops. With Jerry's GarageGuard™, you can also view real reviews to help you choose the best shop for your car repair service.
Take a look at some of our vetted shops below and download the app to compare car repair quotes in your area.
174 Reviews
Yoo's Auto Service & Collision
189 W Duncannon Ave, Philadelphia, PA
Distributor O-Ring Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
(Parts - $3, Labor - $21)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
157 Reviews
All Pro European
1062 NW 1st Ct, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Distributor O-Ring Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
(Parts - $3, Labor - $29)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
123 Reviews
Pep Boys Auto Parts & Service - Park Ave
5115 Park Ave, Memphis, TN
Distributor O-Ring Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
(Parts - $3, Labor - $34)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)
177 Reviews
Goodyear Auto Service - Indianapolis
627 North Delaware StreetIndianapolis, IN
Distributor O-Ring Replacement Cost
Fair Cost Estimate for This Shop
(Parts - $3, Labor - $28)
Shop Diagnostic Fee
(Included in service charges)

How did we vet these shops?

Jerry experts researched 2500+ real repair shops across the US. We talked to real shop customers, and analyzed both real shop pricing data and thousands of real customer reviews from each shop to verify them individually. We do not partner with the shops listed above, and our analysis is always unbiased.

How will a mechanic replace my distributor O-ring?

The process for replacing a distributor O-ring is unique to each vehicle. In general, your mechanic will go through the following process to complete your distributor replacement:
  1. Preparation: Your mechanic will turn off your car and, as a safety measure, they’ll ensure that the battery is disconnected.
  2. Accessing the distributor: For most vehicles, your mechanic will need to remove your engine’s cover and the air filter housing to access your distributor and the O-ring.
  3. Marking components: To maintain the exact position of your distributor, your mechanic will mark the location of any accompanying components. This includes the spark plug wires, the distributor cap, the distributor, the distribution drive gear, and the distributors alignment with the engine. 
  4. Removing the spark plug wires: The spark plug wires will be removed from the distributor cap. In some cases, the distributor cap may also be removed. This will give your mechanic access to the distributor.
  5. Removing the distributor: Your distributor will be held in place by bolts or clamps. Your mechanic will remove these bolts and then carefully take out the distributor from its housing position.
  6. Removing the old O-ring: Using an O-ring removal tool, your mechanic will separate the old O-ring from the distributor. The O-ring may break during removal, which could leave behind debris on the distributor. The mechanic will remove the debris before installing the new O-ring.
  7. Installing the new distributor O-ring: Your mechanic may use a light coat of oil to install the new O-ring into the exact position as the old O-ring. This installation is typically done by hand.
  8. Reinstalling the distributor: With the distribution gear in the correct location, your mechanic will lower the distribution back into its original engine-aligned position.
  9. Reinstalling the spark plug wires: The spark plug wires will be reinstalled in the correct order, and if it was removed, your distributor cap will also be placed back.
  10. Reinstalling and reconnecting other components: If your engine cover and air filter housing were removed to access your distributor, they’ll be replaced at this time. Your mechanic will also reconnect your car battery. 
  11. Testing: Finally, your mechanic will check for any oil or coolant leaks around the distributor area. They may also start your car to ensure that there are no unusual sounds or vibrations coming from the engine bay.

What happens if I don’t replace my distributor O-ring?

A bad distributor O-ring can lead to the following issues:
  • Oil leaks
  • Distributor contamination
  • Distributor corrosion
  • Electrical issues
  • Poor acceleration
  • Rough idling
  • Decreased fuel efficiency
  • Engine damage or failure from oil leaks

What is a distributor O-ring?

A car’s distributor shaft has two seals, one of which is an O-ring. 
Your distributor is responsible for sending high-voltage sparks to the correct spark plug wires to help the engine run efficiently. Your distributor O-ring ensures that your distributor is correctly sealed to the engine block, thus aiding the distribution process and the engine’s performance.  
When the distributor O-ring in the intake has a leak, oil and grime can form on both the intake and the outside of the distributor. If this happens, the entire distribution process can be disrupted, which will affect your vehicle’s ability to run.

When should I replace the distributor O-ring on my car?

The most common symptoms of a bad distributor O-ring include:
  1. Oil leaks: Oil leaks around the distributor is one of the main signs of a bad distributor O-ring. If you notice oil leaks under your engine bay, it may be associated with a bad distributor O-ring.
  2. Engine misfires or rough idling: If your distributor O-ring is damaged, it may leak contaminants into your distributor. A contaminated distributor may cause your engine to misfire when idling, starting, or accelerating.
  3. Vehicle won’t start: You may have difficulty starting your car if your distributor is contaminated by oil leaks from a broken O-ring.
  4. Strange smell: If your vehicle smells strongly of burning oil, it could be due to a bad distributor O-ring.
Keep in mind: The symptoms of a damaged distributor O-ring vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model. If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, check your owner’s manual for more information, or talk to a mechanic for professional guidance.

How often should a distributor O-ring be replaced?

Unlike other vehicle parts that require routine maintenance, distributor O-rings do not have official replacement intervals. Unofficially, it’s recommended that you change your distributor O-ring every 100,000 miles. 
Some O-rings can last the lifespan of your vehicle, but if you notice signs of damage or oil leaks near your distributor, it’s best to swap out your O-ring. Additionally, if you replace your distributor, it’s a good idea to also replace your distributor O-ring at the same time.

Can I replace my distributor O-ring myself?

Distributor O-ring replacements are fairly straightforward, so you may be able to complete the process on your own. 
With that said, your distributor O-ring maintains the sealed connection between your vehicle’s engine block and the distributor. Given that this connection is vital to your vehicle performance, you may be better off taking your car to a professional automotive mechanic for the replacement.


On average, it costs $200 to $250 to replace a distributor. The exact price of a distributor replacement will vary depending on your vehicle’s make and model.
On average, it costs $112 to replace distributor O-rings. This cost is made up of $4 for parts and $108 for labor. The replacement cost will also depend on your vehicle.
A distributor O-ring seals the distributor housing to the engine. It prevents oil leaks, which could contaminate the distributor.
O-rings are not hard to replace. In fact, you can complete a distributor O-ring replacement at home on your own if you have the correct tools and a fair understanding of your vehicle’s components. 
However, it is generally recommended that you take your car to a mechanic for an O-ring replacement. Since the process is fairly straightforward, a distribution O-ring replacement will be a fast job for your mechanic, and they’ll also avoid errors.
If you notice leaks from your vehicle’s distributor, it’s likely due to a damaged distributor O-ring. 
Like many other car parts, your distributor O-ring is bound to deteriorate over time. A broken distribution O-ring should be replaced immediately to avoid further damage to your car’s distributor.

Meet Our Experts

John Davis
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Car Expert
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Certified mechanic with 10+ years of experience
John Davis is an expert automotive writer and former automotive mechanic. John's work spans multiple categories, and he relishes the opportunity to research a new subject and expand his area of expertise and industry knowledge. To date, John has written more than 200 articles covering car maintenance and care, car advice, how-to guides, and more.
Prior to joining Jerry’s editorial team, John worked as a mechanic and freelance writer, creating content for clients including HotCars and SetPower.
Jessica Barrett
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Car Expert
Jessica Barrett is a senior insurance writer and editor with 10 years of experience in the automotive and travel industries. A specialist in car insurance, car loans, and car ownership, Jessica’s mission is to create comprehensive content that car owners can use to manage their costs and improve their lives. As a managing editor for a team of writers and insurance specialists, Jessica has edited over 2,000 articles for Jerry on topics ranging from local insurance shopping tips to refinancing car loans with bad credit.
Before joining Jerry as a senior content editor in 2021, Jessica created visual content for clients such as Expedia, Vivid Seats, Budget Direct Car Insurance, Angie’s List, and HomeAdvisor. Her content was published in Business Insider, Forbes, Apartment Therapy, and the BBC.
Kathleen Flear
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Car Expert
Kathleen Flear is an expert insurance writer and editor who heads up Jerry’s editorial team as director of content. Kathleen empowers drivers to make smart car ownership decisions through  best-in-class articles on insurance, loans, and maintenance. Prior to joining Jerry in 2021, Kathleen served as managing editor for a team of SEO content marketing professionals at and worked as a freelance writer and editor for a range of digital publications, including Chicago Literati magazine and Golden Words. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English language and literature from Queen’s University, and a master’s degree in creative writing and fiction from Sierra Nevada University.
*The price information provided on our car repair webpages is intended for general informational purposes only. Actual prices for car repair services may vary based on various factors, including but not limited to the make and model of your vehicle, the extent of repair required, and the prevailing market conditions. All prices for real repair shops are estimations based on our research only. Therefore, the prices listed on our webpages should not be considered as final quotes or binding offers.